Enter Canterlot

May 22nd, 2013
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  1. Your name is Anonymous. It’s the end of a long day and you’re doing what you do every day. You drop down into your chair, turn on your computer, and prepare to free yourself from the constraints of such mundane concepts as productivity and decency.
  2. However as you sit back in your chair you realise that though you’ve pressed the button your computer hasn’t turned on. Slightly annoyed, you lean over and press the power button again. Once again there is no visible result. A frown creasing your face, you check behind your computer to ensure that all wires are in their proper locations. Satisfied that everything is in order, you hit the button again. Once more there is nothing.
  3. Your irritation mounting, you hit the button again, but this time jump as a mild static shock assaults your finger. You pull your hand back in surprise, cursing the machine. But as you shake your hand in an effort to rid it of the pain, you begin to feel odd. The air becomes tinged with a static charged making the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. The unmistakable tang of ozone fills the air and you jump in surprise when a spark shoots from your monitor.
  4. You slowly roll your chair away from the desk where your computer rests, but even as you move events become stranger and more alarming. Ribbons of electricity flare into life all about your room and begin to arc across all your various possession.
  5. You jump to your feet and send your chair toppling to the floor, fully intending to vacate your room and put as much distance between yourself and this strangeness as possible, but before you can so much as take a single step or utter a sound of alarm, a humming fills your ears, blotting out all sound while your vision goes white.
  9. You slowly come to, a ringing in your ears and a pounding in your skull. Your head feels as though someone had taken a baseball bat to it while you were out and every pulse of your heart sends a fresh, dull throb of pain to your temples.
  10. In the back of your mind you wonder if ignoring it long enough will make it go away. But in spite of your best efforts to ignore the headache it stands its ground and you sigh in agitation. Whatever you did last night had better be worth this. It must have been considering you hadn’t even made it to your bed and just passed out right on the floor.
  11. As you ponder your current situation, stubbornly refusing to rise from your prone position, you slowly become aware that you’re not alone. You can hear raised voices not too far off that appear to be moving, and a clamor of tossed objects as they move back and forth.
  12. All attempts at ignoring said voices and just sleeping your apparent hangover off are abruptly shattered as the voices pass within inches of your head. Oh for the love of God, can they at least have a little respect for the incapacitated?
  13. Realising that, despite your best efforts, the situation isn’t simply going to go away, you grudgingly decide to get up. You slowly make your way to a sitting position, emitting a loud groan broadcasting exactly how agitated you are with the situation.
  14. The instant the sound leaves your mouth the clamor and the voices stop.
  15. “Much better.” you grumble, rubbing the sleep from your eyes. “Too bad you had to wait until I woke up to...”
  16. You trail off as you finally wrench open your eyes and lay your sights on the situation unfolding before you. Clearly whatever you’d done last night still had you in its thrall as this could be little else than an incredible trip.
  17. A tiny purple horse shaped thing with a multitude of books hovering about it accompanied by a similarly colored lizard with its arms occupied by a mountain of books stare frozen in place and staring at you in wide-eyed fright.
  18. You can’t help but mimic them, lips pursed and brow creased into a frown. Whatever’s going on here, you don’t care for it, not one bit. However, regardless of your state of intoxication, this all begs the question of-
  19. “What the hell is going on here?” you demand.
  20. The sound of your voice breaks the two creatures out of the daze they’d fallen into and the tiny horse rushes up to you.
  21. “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to do it! Oh, I knew I shouldn’t have tried that spell, it was way too advanced for me! I’m so sorry, please don’t be mad, I promise I’ll do everything I can to fix this! And I’m sure the Princess will-” she stops short here and a look of utter terror crosses her face. “Oh my GOSH! If the Princess finds out about this she’s going to be furious! This won’t be like missing a silly letter, oh no! She’ll send me back to magic kindergarten for sure! She’ll-”
  22. Much to your growing astonishment, the tiny horse thing, which talks apparently, continues to ramble on in this way with seemingly no end in sight. The little purple lizard stands by your side, transfixed by the spectacle. Noticing him, you decide to go out on a limb and assume it talks too.
  23. “Is, uh, is she normally like this?” you venture, increasingly aware that you are in all probability conversing with an illusion.
  24. The lizard spares you a glance before looking back to the horse. “Yeah.” it replies. “But this is nothing, you should have been here when put a Want It, Need It spell on her doll and hypnotized almost all of Ponyville into fighting over it. Now THAT was crazy.”
  25. “I have no idea what any of that means, but that still sounds pretty ridiculous.” you agree.
  26. “You’ve got no idea. Oh, I’m Spike the dragon, by the way. And she’s Twilight Sparkle.” he says, reaching a claw out in greeting.
  27. You take his tiny claw in your hand and give it a shake. “Anonymous the human.” you reply in kind. “So you think we should stop her or something?”
  28. “Probably, as funny as this is it gets old really fast. Hang on, I’m goin’ in.” he says, carefully making his way over to the frantic Twilight, still submerged in her rant about what some princess is going to do to her as punishment.
  29. You must admit, she’s got quite the imagination.
  30. After a quick battle to subdue the panicked unicorn, Spike manages to get Twilight to halt in her rant long enough to realise that you’re still here and waiting for an explanation.
  31. “I’m so sorry about that!” Twilight apologises. “I don’t know what came over me, I just snapped.”
  32. “No worries.” you reply, still in something like shock. “So what exactly is going on here? Am I dreaming or something? Or did someone spike my drink?”
  33. “No, no, I assure you that this is all very much real.” she says. “You see, I was doing some light reading, which turned into some late night studying, which turned into early morning experimentation when I found this really interesting spell about summoning-”
  34. “Hang on, hang on.” you interrupt her. “Spell? As in magic?”
  35. She nods her head in assent.
  36. “... Okay, continue.”
  37. “Well like I said, I found this interesting summoning spell and I wanted to give it a try.”
  38. “I told her it was a bad idea, but she didn’t listen.” Spike cuts in.
  39. “Yes, Spike, you did.” Twilight grumbled in annoyance. “Anyways, I tried it, and then... well you appeared.”
  40. You take a moment to digest what you’ve just been told. By a talking purple unicorn. That practices magic. And talks. Did you mention that it talks?
  41. “Alright, so in short I’ve been summoned to another world by a magical, talking pony?” you ask.
  42. “That about sums it up.” Twilight confirms.
  43. “Alright, well can you send me back then?” you ask.
  44. As soon as the question leaves your mouth Twilight’s entire disposition changes. Her head lowers, her ears flatten themselves against her head, and she looks anywhere but at you, an embarrassed blush coloring her face as she mumbles something you don’t quite catch.
  45. “Sorry, what?”
  46. More incoherent mumbles.
  47. “You’re gonna have to speak up.”
  48. Twilight takes a deep breath. “... I can’t.” she says, finally.
  49. “You what?”
  50. Twilight’s horn glows and a ruined book levitates up next to her. “The book with the spell in it ended up being the conduit for the spell and when you came out of it the book was ruined. I’ve checked the entire library and from what I can tell this was the only book the return spell was in and this,” she indicates the ruined scraps of paper hovering beside her. “was the only copy.”
  51. It takes a moment for everything to really register in your head. “So I’m stuck here is what you’re trying to say?”
  52. She lowers her head again. “Yes, I’m so sorry.”
  53. You’re silent for a long moment, as is Twilight. Fortunately Spike gives voice to his thoughts.
  54. “Well why don’t we just ask the Princess? There’s nopony who knows more about magic than her, I’m sure she’ll have the answer to all this.”
  55. Twilight’s eyes light up as she grasps onto this one last strand of hope. “Yes!” she agrees. “Don’t worry, Anonymous, I’m sure the Princess Celestia will know what to do!”
  56. Still not really having come to grips with your current situation, everything still feels a little unreal. However, if there’s a chance to get this all over and done with sooner you’ll gladly take it.
  57. “Well alright, let’s go see her then. Not like I’ve got any better ideas.”
  58. “Let’s get going then.” Twilight says, beginning to trot off with you and Spike hot on her heels. “It’s really lucky this happened when it did, too. It’s pretty early, so the Princess probably hasn’t even begun her day yet, we should be able to see her before she begins her duties.”
  59. “If you say so.” you remark as you follow her.
  60. Before you can set foot out of the library, though, Spike motions for Twilight to wait. “Hey Twi? You think maybe it’s not the best idea to be dragging an alien from another dimension around the palace? Ponies might freak out. Uh, no offence to Anon, of course!” he hurriedly adds.
  61. “None taken, it’s a good point. But how else would we get there?”
  62. “We could teleport.” Spike offered.”
  63. Twilight puts a hoof to her chin in thought. “Hmm, I suppose you’re right. It would be for the best. Alright Anon, this is probably gonna feel a little weird, but just bear with me for a moment.”
  64. “Wait, teleporting? Isn’t that how I got here in the first place.”
  65. “Well that was summoning, but it’s pretty much the same concept, just
  66. bringing an object to you rather than sending yourself somewhere.” Twilight explains, a look of concentration on her face as she prepares the spell.
  67. “You know, I’m completely fine with walking, couldn’t you just turn me invisible or-”
  68. A flash of light and a familiar feeling of displacement overtakes you as your body is instantly transported to another location.
  69. “-somethHURRRGH!” you unceremoniously finish, doubling over in pain as your stomach threatens to violently empty itself.
  70. “My everything feels wrong.” is the only thing you can think to say as you clutch your abdomen.
  71. “Oh my, are you alright?” Twilight asks, clearly distressed. “I’m sorry! Oh, I should have considered this! Ugh! Can’t I do anything right today?”
  72. “Oh dear, Twilight? What’s going on?” an unfamiliar voice asks.
  73. You glance up and notice another pony sitting on a throne, this one much larger than Twilight, but with a white coat, a flowing rainbow mane and... a tattoo of the sun on its butt?
  74. You glance quickly over at Twilight and notice that she has one as well, but of a starburst pattern instead. Looking around further you discover that you’re currently standing in a vast room empty of occupants save a few armored ponies standing stock still at their posts.
  75. “Princess Celestia, I need your help!” Twilight hurriedly says. “I was trying out a spell that I read about in the library, but when I cast it Anonymous here,” she gestures at you for emphasis, “appeared out of the book and it was ruined! I don’t know the return spell and I couldn’t find one anywhere in the library. I’m really sorry I did it, I know I shouldn’t have and I didn’t mean to and please don’t send me to magic kindergarten!” she all but sobs.
  76. The Princess is quiet for a moment, likely still a little shocked from the sudden appearance and subsequent verbal bombardment from Twilight, but after a moment she regains her composure.
  77. “So you summoned... Anonymous, was it? By accident and you need the return spell?” she says.
  78. “That about sums it up, Princess.” Spike confirms.
  79. “Well I have good news and bad news, then.” she says. “The good news is that I can help you.”
  80. This is met by several relieved sighs, the loudest of which being yours.
  81. “The bad news, however,” here you notice Twilight tense up as though expecting punishment. “is that there are special conditions to be met and preparations to be made. I cannot say how long it will take.”
  82. “Well do you have a guess?” you ask. “A few days? A week?”
  83. Celestia’s frown does not fill you with hope. “As I said, I cannot say for sure, though it would be closer to months, possibly even a year or more were I to begin it right this instant.
  84. Well that can’t be right, you’ve obviously heard wrong.
  85. “A what now?”
  86. “I’m very sorry, summoning magic is a complicated thing. I would hazard a guess that Twilight’s spell simply reached out randomly and picked something out. Finding where you came from will be no easy task, and sending you back is another matter entirely.”
  87. “I can tell you where I came from if that helps.” you offer, desperation slowly working its way into you.
  88. “I’m afraid it’s not that simple. You may be from an entirely different reality. It will take time to find your home, but I assure you that it can be done.”
  89. “So... I’m stuck here, then.” you say, your mind still taking its time absorbing the significance of this fact. Though frankly the entire situation is proving too much for you, so much has happened within such a short time and you’re struggling to take it all in.
  90. “I’m afraid so.” Celestia says before turning to Twilight, a serious look on her face. “Now Twilight-” she begins, but is cut off.
  91. “Don’t worry, Princess, I did this, I promise I’ll take full responsibility for his wellbeing while he’s here.” she enthusiastically interjects.
  92. Celestia’s face softens. “Thank you Twilight, I’m sure you’ll be more than capable of handling this. Now I believe your old room is still unoccupied, and I think our friend is going to need some time to rest and come to grips with this situation so I think perhaps he can stay there until you return to Ponyville. I’ll begin seeing to the matter of his return when my duties for the day are concluded.”
  93. Twilight bows to the Princess. “Of course, Princess. And thank you so much for helping me with this.”
  94. “It’s my pleasure, Twilight. Until tonight.”
  95. Twilight’s horn lights up as she prepares to teleport out, but she takes notice of your blank expression and cancels it.
  96. “Come on, we’ll walk this time. We can just go the back ways.”
  97. You just nod dumbly in response.
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